You are here


Melissa Swain

Melissa Swain-Tonkin


Melissa specialises in public and private M&A, predominantly in mining and resources.



Melissa is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer who specialises in public and private mergers and acquisitions, predominantly in the mining and resources sector, as well as related contractual, corporate governance and regulatory matters. Melissa has particular experience in coal sector acquisitions and divestments (including farm-ins and joint ventures) and she focusses on advising financial investors (including private equity firms and Japanese trading houses) on their Australian investments.  

Having previously acted as General Counsel & Company Secretary of a listed coal company, Melissa has developed a deep understanding of the mining industry in Australia and a practical and commercial approach that clients value.  Leveraging her in-house experience and work with Japanese investors and off-takers, Melissa is a core member of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Japan-Australia practice.

Melissa’s experience includes:

  • advising CHAMP Private Equity on its sale of mining services contractor LCR
  • advising Coronado Global Resources Inc on its 2018 initial public offering and $3.87 billion listing on the Australian Securities Exchange
  • advising ITOCHU Corporation on the sale of its interest in the Worsley Alumina bauxite mining and alumina refinery
  • advising Mitsui on its acquisition of a shareholding in New Forests Pty Limited, a forestry investment manager
  • advising JCD Australia on its investment in the Mt Pleasant Coal Project



Melissa holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class Honours and the University Medal from the University of Queensland. Melissa also holds a Bachelor of Science and completed the AsiaLink Leaders Program in 2015.

Key Sectors